bennie purcell

Murray State University will no longer sponsor its men’s tennis program, as part of the school’s response to state budget cuts.

Laura Hunt / Kentucky Lions Club

The late Bennie Purcell, a sports icon in Murray State history, is this year’s Ralph Beard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.


Purcell’s son and MSU tennis coach Mel accepted on his behalf at a ceremony Tuesday.

Murray State Sports, via Twitter

Update 2/19: Visitation for Bennie Purcell will be held at the Burton Family Hall of Champions at Murray State University (adjacent to the CFSB Center), Saturday, February 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Former Murray State University basketball star and tennis coach Bennie Purcell has died. Purcell was 86.

The Racers have re-written the record books this year, and as Murphy ’s Law would dictate that has thrown a wrench in the operation of Racer Basketball Legend Bennie Purcell and former MSU Sports Information Director Jimmy Wilder, who are behind a book called “Banner Years” Chronicling the Racers 85 year basketball history. WKMS' resident sports buff Tracy Ross speaks with Purcell and Wilder about the book and some of the Racers greatest ball players.